Pastor's Corner: National Day of Prayer; Thursday, May 4, 2023
Last updated 5/5/2023 at 11:40am
Each year, the president signs a new proclamation for National Day of Prayer, and each year has a slightly different theme or focus. The theme of the 2023 National Day of Prayer was a call to praise in prayer, "Pray fervently in righteousness, and avail much," based on James 5:16b.
Here in Havre, we observe the National Day of Prayer by meeting in Town Square. We started the observance with worship music from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The actual observance started at noon. In years past, before COVID, various churches would set up tables and serve different food items for lunch. This year we requested that folks participating bring their own lawn chairs and lunches, effectively "brown bagging" it. At the observance, we sang songs of praise to God. We were privileged to have Youth Pastor Max Peterson of Fifth Avenue Christian Church as our keynote speaker this year. After his message, ministerial association pastors led in prayers for our country's families, churches, businesses, education, military, government, and arts, entertainment, media.
We hoped that many of you would join in for this annual event, for sll are welcome, and the Day of Prayer went very well.
This year's 2023 National Prayer reads: "We come with fervent hearts to praise You Lord. You are The Word, the Way, Truth and Life. The Alpha and Omega, Lion of Judah, Almighty God who was, and is, and is to come. You clothed Yourself in flesh and dwelt among us, to remove our sin and clothe us in Your righteousness that we might dwell with You forever and ever.
"With broken, humbled hearts, we repent of our sins, confessing to You our faithlessness, prayerlessness, and disobedience. Forgive us for our doubt, our prideful and quarrelsome words that reveal our unclean hearts. Cleanse us and renew a right and steadfast spirit within us we pray.
"With grateful hearts we thank You fervently for the blessings in our life and throughout America; they are more than we are able to count. We will remember Your grace and testify to Your goodness in all generations. Help us to refrain from complaining, but instead be prompted to pray faithfully in every circumstance. Teach us to have a content heart knowing You are always enough for our every need.
"As the church, we commit to pray and love our neighbor and nation as You loved us, that our reputation in this world would be rooted in Your love. Holy Spirit work and overflow through us in every prayer, thought, word, and deed. May our character, conversations, and conduct reflect the righteousness in which You clothed us and command us to life.
"With an obedient heart we put on the full armor of God; Your breastplate of righteousness guards our heart from which flows the springs of life. We pray fervently for our communities and country; the people who are in the church, family, education, business and workplace, military, government, arts, entertainment and media. Every person is Your workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully created and loved. With hopeful hearts we pray that all would choose to receive Your love and follow You. We pray that America would confess, "Jesus is Lord" and reflect Your righteousness in every sphere of influence, and every aspect of our lives. We ask that heavenly hope would flood our hearts, silence hate, and that You will heal our land.
"Believing You; all You are, all You said, and all You have promised, we pray fervently in righteousness and avail much. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen!"
This prayer was taken from the National Day of Prayer 2023 Prayer Guide, a bulletin that we used to guide our prayer time at this event. We closed the observance with this prayer together.
Written by the Rev. Edroy "Curt" Curtis, president of the Greater Havre Area Ministerial Association; chaplain of Northern Montana Health Care, and lead pastor of Havre Assembly of God Church.